Did you ever think about what a potential employer is really looking for in all openings, no matter what the job description is?
No matter what that job description is, and on top of any skills listed as requirements, their foundational need is a worker who shows up on time consistently and does the job responsibly every time they are expected to do so. Sometimes an unforeseen crisis may prevent a perfect attendance record, but an employee who is reliable is a better investment than hiring a brilliant whiz kid who doesn’t show up or goofs off most days.
This need for reliability is why references are so important. Your references are people who testify to the way you are to work with, the kind of person you are, and ultimately how reliable you will be. And that promise of being able to rely on you for a job well done is what an employer is putting their faith in when they hire you. So, how do you go about getting a good reference…regardless of the circumstance that discolors a dubious job history? Sometimes the work situation was not your fault but affects your record. If this is the case, choose your reference providers with care.
If you can, do some volunteer work that will show you are reliable. You want to make a case for your potential reliability by showing how you have been reliable in the past and proving it with the testimony of those who worked with you in the project. If you must address the issue during your interview, avoid disparaging remarks about your previous employer and be professional in your representation. Point out your best accomplishments and the fact that you look forward to being more productive.
Diplomacy is professional and always impressive. You are showing in real time that you can be relied upon to do the best you can in any circumstance, and that puts you ahead of the pack.
Competition is unfortunately part of the picture in searching for a job. It’s also part of the picture in keeping your job and being promoted. The Job Search Success System has more to offer than getting your foot in the door; the skills you learn will help you be successful throughout your career as you struggle to keep up with the market.
In addition to finding that job, there is coaching on:
- how to figure out what you really want out of your career
- how to become the acknowledged expert in your field, boosting your income and potential
- how to negotiate for salary increases of 10% and more — up to 50%
- communication tips
- efficiency tips
- project work, consultation work, and adding income streams
The more skills you have, the more options you have. When you are actively seeking to improve your skills, it benefits you now and in the future. It also benefits those around you because you are setting a standard of professionalism that will enhance your workplace. Even if you would decide that you are not ready to invest in a tool like The Job Search Success System, pay attention to the things offered in the package. Those are skills you need to develop somehow in order to keep up in the marathon that is a career.
I did say “marathon” instead of “race”. That is because the goal isn’t really to be the first one past the finish line: the goal is to get across that line, getting and keeping a job until promotion to a better job. You might not be as fast as some of the other runners, but if you keep at it, you will get there!
Stress in the workplace is universal, but there are things that you can do to alleviate that stress and channel it into good energy. Here are a few suggestions that can help you take control of the situation to your benefit:
Realize that you only have control of your own stuff.
- You can do something about your desk or area of responsibility.
- You can do something about the way you respond to a situation or the things you tell yourself.
- You can’t force someone else to act the way you wish they would.
Do a good job with the stuff you have control over.
- Keep your work area picked up and functional. It doesn’t have to be sterile, but make it calm by putting away the clutter & paring the accessories down to one or two things that you really enjoy looking at. You can switch them out as often as you like but only display the minimum.
- Focus on doing your job well and being friendly without drama. Don’t gossip or backstab; think of your coworkers as future referrals for your next job and act accordingly.
- Take advantage of training sessions, assessments, and improving your job skills. Get job counseling and expand your horizon to include working toward a different job if that’s what you’d like to do.
- Own your mistakes. Stop the blame game in its tracks by acknowledging when you blew it and put the emphasis on fixing the problem and going on.
- Take a walk instead of reaching for the snack. Replace unhealthy coping skills with healthy ones and use the energy from that stress reaction for exercise.
Let the coworker deal with their own stuff because you can’t do it for them.
- If you work with a chronically angry person, you probably are not the source of their anger. You just are there to dump on. If you can, avoid giving them an opportunity to dump on you. If it isn’t possible, imagine an open garbage bag they are dumping into and toss it when they are done.
If your workplace is truly intolerable, focus on leaving as soon as you can with good references from this job. Don’t burn any bridges by bad behavior and do what you can to keep your stress level down. This is great motivation to research career options, develop a strategy, and look for another job armed with all the skills you can develop.
Stress isn’t caused by a situation; it’s caused by our reaction to a situation. Your body goes into the same type of stress mode with any intense situation, from athletic competitions to scary movies to roller coasters to the workplace. Taking control of what you can will keep that stress positive for you and your career.
Getting a job is hard. It is even harder when you have just graduated and have little or no work experience. In this case your education and your skills will say more to your potential employers than your small amount of work experience.
The skills you gain at a job are very useful in other jobs and therefore are good to put on your resume, but what about the skills you have gained while at school? Well, there are many that are just as useful in the work field and you should let your potential employers know that you have those skills. Here are some examples of skills that will help improve your resume:
- Computer Skills: Knowing how to use a computer is pretty much a necessity nowadays. Luckily, you can learn those computer skills at most schools and therefore you can put those skills on your resume. It will make your employer’s life easier if they don’t have to teach you the basics of computers when they hire you.
- Teamwork and Leadership Skills: Whether you were on a sports team, student council, choir, band, or involved in theater, you probably gained some very good skills in working with other people and being a leader. This is important because you will be working with all sorts of new people and eventually leading people and the fact that you know how to work with and lead people is important to your potential employers.
- Various Field Specific Skills: Depending on what you are applying for you may have some skills that are more specific to that job. That will be up to you to decide which skills are applicable and helpful in landing the job.
Now you have an idea of what skills you have and which ones you can bring to the table even with little or no work experience.
Getting paid for job training is likely not something that your boss will do on their own. But, that does not mean that it is completely off the table. Here are three tips that will help you get paid for job training: have all the facts, explain the benefits, and be a team player.
- Have All the Facts: If you want a clear answer, ask a clear question. It’s a lot harder to say “no” to a specific proposal, so make sure you’re armed with all of the facts. If you’re interested in attending a seminar or conference, make sure you know the location, date, and cost (including travel and hotel, if needed), and can summarize what you’ll learn.
- Explain the Benefits: Explain exactly what you want to get out of the seminar you’re proposing and, more importantly, how that will benefit your work and your company. When it comes to benefits, don’t be afraid to get creative
- Be a Team Player: Even though it will cost more overall, it may be easier in some instances to argue for training a group of people. It makes your request seem less selfish and reinforces the idea that you’re looking out for the team. If you have a large group (more than 10 people), some seminar companies will bring events in-house, reducing your travel and hotel costs.
When you approach your boss about paying for job training, think of it as a bit of a sales pitch. Keep it short but professional, and come armed with the facts, including a few bullet points about the benefits. Your boss isn’t always going to say “yes,” but if you know what you want, are sincere, and can demonstrate why training is valuable to the company, you’ll dramatically improve your odds.